It’s a lot to ask…It was a lot to ask, especially considering the way she’d treated Amy recently. And it was funny, considering all the new friends she’d made, that it was Amy she turned to instinctively when she was in trouble.But… there was something solid and genuine and good in Amy. And Gillian knew that she would show up.The Geo swung around the corner and skidded to a stop. Typical Amy-without-glasses driving. Then Amy was jumping out, her face turned anxiously toward Gillian’s. Her blue eyes were huge and seemed luminous with tears.And then they were hugging and crying. Both of them.”I’m so sorry. I’ve been so rotten this last week-“”But I was rotten to you before that-“”I feel awful. You have every right to be mad at me-“”Ever since I heard about the accident, I’ve been so worried.”Gillian pulled back. “I can’t stay. I don’t have time. And I know how this sounds coming from somebody who hit a pole lastnight… but I need your car. For one thing, I’ve got to go see David.”Amy nodded, blotting her eyes. “Say no more.””I can drop you off at home-“”It’s the wrong way. It won’t hurt me to walk. I want to walk.”Gillian almost laughed. The sight of Amy dabbing her face with her muffler and stamping her foot on the icy sidewalk, determined to walk, warmed her heart.She hugged her again, fast. “Thank you. I’ll never forget it. And I’ll never be the terrible person I’ve been to you again, at least-“She broke off and got in the car. She’d been about to finish the sentence “-at least, if I live through this.”Because she wasn’t at all sure that she would.But the first thing was to get to David.She had to see him with her own eyes. To make sure he was all right… and that he was himself.She gunned the motor and set out for Houghton.Chapter 14She got David’s room number from a receptionist at the front desk. She didn’t ask if she was allowed to visit.All Gillian could think as she walked down the hall was, Please. Please, if David was only all right, there was a chance that everything could work out.At the door she stopped and held her breath.Her mind was showing her all sorts of pictures. David in a coma, hooked up to so many tubes and wires that he was unrecognizable. Worse, David alive and awake and smiling… and looking at her with violet eyes.She knew what Angel’s plan had been. At least, she thought she knew. The only question was, had he succeeded?Still holding her breath, she looked around the door.David was sitting up in bed. The only thing he was hooked up to was an IV of clear fluid. There was another bed in the room, empty.He looked toward the door and saw her.Gillian walked toward him slowly. She kept her face absolutely expressionless, her eyes on him.Dark hair. A lean face that still had traces of a summer tan. Cheekbones to die for and eyes to drown in.But no half-quizzical, half-friendly smile. He was looking back at her as soberly as she was looking at him, a book slipping unnoticed from his lap.Gillian reached the foot of the hospital bed. They stared at each other.What do I say? David, is it really you? I can’t. It’s too stupid, and what’s he going to say back? No, dragonfly, it’s not him, it’s me?The silence stretched on. At last, very quietly, the guy on the bed said, “Are you okay?””Yeah.” The word came out clipped and dispassionate. “Are you okay?””Yeah, pretty much. I was lucky.” He was watching her. “You look-kind of different.””And you’re kind of quiet.”Something like puzzlement flashed in his eyes. Then something like hurt. “I was… well, you walked in here looking so deadpan, and you sound so … cold…” He shook his head slightly, his eyes fixed on hers. “Gillian-did I do something to make you want to hit that pole?””I didn’t do it on purpose!” She found herself lunging forward, reaching for his hands.He looked startled. “Okay…””David, I didn’t. I was doing everything I could not to. I would never want to hurt you. Don’t you know that?”His face cleared. His eyes were very dark but very calm. “Yes, I do/’ he said simply. “Ibelieve you.”Strangely, she knew he did. hi spite of all the evidence to the contrary, he believed her.Gillian’s hands tightened on his. Their eyeswere locked together. It was as if they were getting closer, although neither of them moved physically.And then it was all happening, what had started to happen at least twice before. Feelings so sweet and strong she could hardly bear it. Strange recognition, unexpected belonging… impossible knowing…Gillian’s eyes seemed to shut of their own accord. And then somehow they were kissing. She felt the warmth of David’s lips.And everything was warm and wonderful… but there was more.It was as if the normal veil that separated two people had melted.Gillian felt a shock of revelation. This was what it meant, what Angel had spoken to her about. She knew it intuitively even though she’d never spoken the word before.Soulmates.She’d found hers. The one love for her on this earth. The person she was meant to be with, that no one could keep her from. And it wasn’t Angel. It was David.That was the other thing she knew, and knew with a bedrock certainty that nothingcould touch. This was David, the true David. He was holding her in his arms, kissing her. Her, the ordinary Gillian, who was wearing an old gray sweatshirt and nomakeup.It was absurd that she’d ever believed things like makeup mattered.David was alive, that was what mattered. Gillian didn’t have his death on her conscience. And if they could somehow live through the rest of what had to be done, they just might be happier than she had ever imagined.